By Sherri Torjman
Released June 8, 2017
The Lawson Foundation, acting on the advice of pan-Canadian early child development stakeholders, recently commissioned a feasibility study, undertaken by Sherri Torjman of the Caledon Institute for Social Policy, to determine the need for a national child data strategy. The methodology consisted of an environmental scan of major initiatives on child well-being and sources of child data as well as interviews with selected key informants. The environmental scan and interviews identified five core challenges: data architecture and governance, knowledge gaps, methodological limitations, data collection and contextual issues. While ‘strategy’ may be too broad, key informants identified strong support for continued work on child data so long as it is clearly defined, does not duplicate existing efforts and is shaped by key players in the field. Next steps include: mapping key data initiatives, creating opportunities for conversation, creating opportunities for learning, supporting data collection, and supporting engagement and knowledge translation.